Letters: Climate change, term limits | Opinion | johnsoncitypress.com – Johnson City Press (subscription)
Effects of climate change
will be harder on young
In the May 15 Sunday paper, readers offered congratulatory encouragement to the year’s college graduates, along with elder and literary words of wisdom to employ their learning and skills toward tackling new challenges in life.
One might add a wish that they also apply these to the task of combating global warming, one of the greatest problems facing us and their own future. We see or learn of its destructive effects, across the world and here, almost daily.
As the ETSU Climate Office documented, Tennessee saw wildfires, normally occurring in late summer and fall, as early as March, alternating with a strong cold front and widespread snow accumulation. The fires caused more than 11,000 homes to be evacuated and impacted over 200 buildings. Temperatures had been warmer than average by 2 to 4 degrees in most of the state.
And here is a warning from the National Institute for Health: For every person affected psychically in a climate disaster, 40 people can be affected psychologically such that, should the disasters increase, climate change could significantly impact the population’s health.
We need young talent applied to this problem — helping industries and consumers achieve faster reduction in carbon emissions through renewable-energy transitioning, and impressing on politicians the urgency of action on climate change.
President Theodore Roosevelt, long ago in 1903, stated that “To each generation comes its allotted task; no generation is to be excused for failure to perform that task.” To the college graduates now, and all the young, goes a wish and encouragement for their aid toward avoiding such failure.
Limit terms of office
In the Sunday, May 29 Press, Ms. Dugger expressed her thoughts on the Republican Party.
“The party of Trump is all about retaining power, money and self-service. The money has corrupted the party and the system. They have forgotten they are to represent all the people. They favor wealthy donors and corporations.” She also asked “Even if you’ve always voted Republican, look up their voting records. Are they representing your values or the issues you care about?”
I am sure that some members of both parties are dedicated to representing those who elected them and try to act in the best interest of their constituents and our country. I do believe that for others Ms. Dugger’s comments apply equally to both parties and “Democratic” can be substituted for “Republican” in her comments with equal validity. The situation we find ourselves in now is the product of Congress and the White House being controlled by both parties over many years.
The real issue is that many politicians come to see the office they occupy as belonging to them instead of their constituents. It can be difficult to vote an incumbent politician out of office, with the advantage of special interests, political action committees, voter apathy, etc. The view that “he may be a crook, but he’s our crook” is still alive and well.
A solution for the above can be term limits but it will be very difficult to get politicians to enact laws that will restrict them. The best term-limiting device we have is to use the vote.
Anyone who is dissatisfied with those representing them in local, state, and national government bodies should campaign for the candidate that best represents them and to vote for them. Nothing else will change the current situation.